Tsunoda ‘learned a lot of lessons in Imola’

Finley Crebolder
Yuki Tsunoda spin

Yuki Tsunoda says he learned a lot from his mistake in Imola and is aiming to apply those lessons in Portugal.

Disaster struck for the rookie when, during qualifying in the second round of the season, he lost control and crashed into the barriers, bringing an end to his session in Q1.

He wasn’t able to make amends on race day either as, after getting himself back into contention for points, he went wide and into the gravel at the Safety Car restart.

Reflecting on the crash, he knows he made a big mistake and says he has learnt from it.

“I learned a lot of lessons in Imola,” he said.

“I had very high expectations for Imola and so had the team. Everything had gone smoothly in free practice but then I made a huge mistake in Qualifying, which meant I had a very tough race.

“I had not had a bad crash for two years, so this was a lesson which I can learn from going into the next races.”

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Tsunoda’s life in F1 has thus far been made easier by the fact that he had previously driven at the first two circuits of the season in lower categories.

That won’t be the case in Portimao though, and he thinks his approach will be different as a result.

“The track in Portugal is new to me,” he added.

“I don’t know what to expect, although I have done a couple of sessions driving Portimao on the simulator and I’ve watched last year’s Grand Prix.

“It is a beautiful circuit with interesting corners like Turn 1 and the off-camber Turn 13 which looks quite unique, as well as so many up and down sections and blind corners. I think it could be tricky for track limits, but I will build up my pace gradually.

“It will be a completely different situation to the previous two rounds, as I had already driven a lot in Bahrain and Imola before the race weekend.”

The other AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly does have experience of the circuit having finished P5 there last year, and is looking forward to returning.

“Last year I had a good race in Portimao, finishing fifth,” he said.

“It’s a really unique circuit with all the gradient changes, going up and down like a rollercoaster. It’s fun driving there and very different to what we’re used to – as a low grip track, the car slides a lot and it’s not easy to get the tyres up to temperature.

“We will be running the C1 hard tyres and last year, especially in FP1 they were very hard to warm up, but this time we have a bit more knowledge and experience and the weather will certainly be warmer this year.”

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